Washington Legislative Update -Fall 2019

We are little less than four months from the 2020 Legislative Session which makes it the right time to start thinking about state policy issues and their impact on your work.  We'd like to offer some free webinars in the weeks leading up to session and would like your help determining which issues to focus on. So please read to the end and answer our quick poll on this.  

Conference on Ending Homelessness
The Washington Low-Income Housing Alliance has opened registration for its annual Conference on Ending Homelessness to be held in Spokane, November 6 and 7. This event brings together 700 individuals and organizations to learn best practices and ideas from each other. Early bird discount applies until October 10.  More on the conference. 

Local United Way Focus Areas

The UWPNW member survey results posted this past year revealed that all 13 responding Washington United Ways are engaged in local and state policy advocacy.  While all LUW’s are engaged in issues (both funding and policy) covering the broad Health, Education and Income spectrum, the survey revealed these specific top focus areas:

  • Early learning and early grades success (7 LUWs)
  • Moving families out of poverty/self-sufficiency  (6 LUWs)
  • Youth development and success (4 LUWs)

Based on your interests, we will offer learning webinar options later this Fall to offer engagement with each other and with state level experts.  We will only offer these if we get enough commitment via this very short survey.  Please also comment if you have other suggestions for webinars.

House Democrats Vote for the Next Speaker of the House
A record-setting reign as Speaker of the House ended this summer when members of the House Democratic Caucus elected Rep. Laurie Jinkins of Tacoma to succeed Frank Chopp as the new speaker.  Rep. Jinkins will be formally installed as speaker when the legislature convenes in January 2020. Jinkins has represented the 27th Legislative District in Pierce County since January 2011. She is a lawyer who currently works as a director of organizational development at the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, after having previously served as its deputy director. 

Housing Costs Doesn't Just Affect Homelessness
An article in New America makes the connection between housing costs and the difficulty in attracting and retaining a quality early education workforce. While rental rates are not quite as high in cities as they are in Oakland, half the rentals in Seattle cost more $2,000 a month with the average unit costing $2,141 monthly for just under 700 square feet.

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